Like many a wild man, the M249 had something of a troubled youth. “Although found to be reliable and accurate, the M249 was considered to present unacceptable hazards in the form of an exposed hot barrel and sharp edges,” Wikipedia reports. “There were also complaints that the front sight required special adjustment tools. On August 23, 1985, Undersecretary of the U.S. Army James R. Ambrose suspended M249 production pending the development of the product improvement program (PIP) intended to fix these problems. Congress deleted funds for the M249 from the Fiscal Year 1986 defense budget, then retroactively set aside the program’s prior year’s funds from the M249 program for other purposes, including retirement and pay raises . . .
Over 1,100 M249s already issued were to remain in use, but be retrofitted with the PIP kit when it became available. Over 7,000 remaining M249s were to stay in storage at depots until corrective changes could be made. The PIP kit was eventually developed and implemented, and production of the M249 resumed. In 1994 the M249 squad automatic weapon was re-designated the M249 light machine gun.”
Suppressive fire? Absolutely. Knock ’em dead. Wrong caliber. Just sayin’ . . .